Darien, Conn – June 14, 2019 – Friday at the 88th Annual Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show, presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, was highlighted by the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, a historic moment for the Heritage Horse Show as it was the first ever derby held at the Ox Ridge Riding and Racquet Club. A diverse field of professional and amateur competitors were entered in the feature event, and at the end of the contest it was Sydney Shulman and Butter Lane LLC’s Samba who walked away victorious after dominating two rounds of competition, leading the lap of honor and claiming the greatest share of the prize money.
Designed by Eric Mayberry, the classic round course featured 10 obstacles, four of which offered exhibitors high and low options. Following the initial portion of riding, Julia O’Neil and Camaro M secured the early lead ahead of the field with a score of 84, earned from a base tally of 82 plus two extra points for successfully jumping the high options. Hot on the leading partnership’s heels, Camille Sinturel and Eweika sat just half of a point behind the early frontrunners with their first round marks of 83.50, and Shulman and Samba claimed the third-best spot with a score of 83.
With only one point separating the leading three and the rest of the field not far behind, mistake-free performances were necessary as the top contenders returned to the ring for a shot at the first prize. Now abridged, the handy pattern presented nine obstacles to competitors to display their skills, with four high-low option fences once again. As the seventh to return, Lucy Nyland-Elliott piloted Canlando to a stellar trip with only five to go, adding a score of 86 to their earlier tally of 79, jumping to the early lead with a cumulative 165 points. Two later in the returning start list, Shulman improved further on her round one marks of 83 in the irons aboard Samba, this time garnering an 85-point score to finish on a tally of 168, eclipsing the top pair to take the head spot on the scorecard. Though the final two exhibitors tried to match the leading duo’s efforts, they couldn’t come up with the points, solidifying Shulman and Samba as the victors in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Nyland-Elliott and Ingate Farm LLC’s Canlando finished in second place overall, while O’Neil and her own Camaro M rounded out the podium spots with a composite score of 164.50.
Earlier in the day the $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic, sponsored by the Archibald Family, took place in the hunter ring where junior athletes and their mounts tried their hand at Eric Mayberry’s course. The 9-fence winding classic course featured a series of both single obstacles as well as lines, including a two-stride combination. At the end of competition it was Samuel Gleason aboard Sarah Gleason’s Canthano who walked away with the top prize, scoring 162 points from the judges.
Gleason and Canthano, a 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding, have been partnered for two and a half years after first coming together during the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Their long-time partnership showed during Friday’s competition as the pair seamlessly tackled the course, maintaining a consistent rhythm to impress the judges. 18-year-old Gleason began riding at the Ox Ridge Riding and Racquet Club years ago and has been competing at the historic show since he was 11 years old. Second place in the class was captured by Sofia Ippolito and Cecotto’s Joker, owned by West Lane Enterprises, with a total score of 159.50. Additionally, Ippolito was awarded the prestigious Lydia F. Theurkauf Memorial Trophy, donated by Judy Richter to the best child rider on a horse.
The Junior 3’6” Hunter division, sponsored in part by the O’Hara Family, also took to the ring Friday morning to crown their champions. After two days of competition, it was ultimately owner-rider Keilty Archibald and It’s America who walked away with the tricolor ribbon in addition to the Angel’s Flight Berkley Faul Matthews Memorial Trophy. Reserve honors were claimed by Summer Witherspoon aboard Kimberly Witherspoon’s Aster De La Sense.
Continuing the day’s awarding of trophies, the Callari Auto Group Trophy was awarded to the winner of the $1,000 M&S Children’s Hunter Horse Classic. The trophy, donated by Flavia Callari, was awarded to Wilimena Merton and Golden Dream after earning a score of 165 to take home the top prize in the competitive class.
Hunter action will continue at the 88th Annual Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show on Saturday, with a series of classics taking place at a variety of levels throughout the weekend.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Sydney Shulman – $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby winner
“His name is Samba and he is owned by Butter Lane LLC, who is the Lupica family. He is 13 years old and has been in our barn for almost four years now. We leased him in our barn forever and he is lovely. We just got him back from his lease so we thought what better way to advertise him than to do the derby and it worked out in our favor. I don’t think I’ve ridden him in three years so you just immediately get on him and feel super comfortable.”
On preparing for the derby:
“I have to give credit to one of my assistants, Gaby Hero. She called me and my mom at like 1:00 today and said we should do the derby. He wasn’t braided and another girl in our barn, Grace, flatted him and he felt ready. It was sort of a last minute decision. He is a beautiful jumper and the course was lovely.”
On the Ox Ridge Charity Horse Show:
“We live in Greenwich so we always come here. We have about 30 horses here this week and we come here every year. I actually did my first grand prix here when I was 15 and then won my first grand prix when I was 16. I’ve been coming here forever and we love this show. The new renovations they have made to it are really great.”
Samuel Gleason – $1,000 Junior Hunter Classic, sponsored by the Archibald Family, winner
On winning the Classic and competing at Ox Ridge:
“When I first started riding, I actually started at Ox Ridge, so I’ve been coming to this horse show since I was 11 [years old]. That’s seven years now. It feels like everything has come full circle. I just graduated high school two weeks ago, so it feels like everything is coming to a close in such a nice way.”
“I’ve had him for about two and a half years now. We got him down at [the Winter Equestrian Festival] and he is really the first horse where I could take a step up. He’s always been by my side, even when I may not be at my best. He always gets me out of tough situations, and I feel like we are really just hitting our stride.”
On his rides:
“My biggest plan that I always try to remember on him is [to maintain] rhythm and track. If I can find that, then everything will just come up easily. I really, really liked the courses today. I especially loved the handy round today. It was so much fun!”
$5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
Horse / Rider / R1 Score / R2 Score / Total
1. Samba / Sydney Shulman / 83 / 85 / 168
2. Canlando / Lucy Nyland-Elliott / 79 / 86 / 165
3. Camaro M / Julia O’Neil / 84 / 780.5 / 164.50
4. HTS Bugatti / Alexandra Beyrer / 81.50 / 79 / 160.50
5. Ewieka / Camille Sinturel / 83.50 / 76 / 159.50
6. It’s America / Keilty Archibald / 76 / 81 / 157
7. Centre Stage / Jacqueline Lampert / 75 / 80 / 155
8. VDL Felton / Taylor Theis / 81 / 72 / 153
9. Lago Di Garda / Emily Britton / 66 / 79 / 145
10. Caspari / Sarina Da Cruz / 65.5 / 76 / 141.50
11. Carl De Grosse / Samantha Johnson / 69.50 / 71 / 140.50
12. Keystone / Chelsea Dwinnell / 70 / 67 / 137
For more information, please visit oxridge.com/horse-shows.